THE MISSING LINK TO REVIVAL? REPENTANCE!
That there are conditions necessary for revival is virtually undisputed. II Chronicles 7:14 is often cited. And that we have prayed and prayed, at least a resilient core has persisted in prayer, without a revival coming to America, is also true. Much emphasis of late has been placed on the willingness of the church to do identificational repentance for the sins of society, without cleaning its own house, without personal repentance. We should know that repentance has to begin with us – or we will see others and the world in a jaded way (Mt. 7). The beam must be removed that affects our perspective – then and only then can we see more clearly. And that happens only when we acknowledge our own wrong.
So this year, the emphasis on Cry Out America has been expanded from the one-hour, to 8 Days of Consecration! A new booklet, Consecrate the People! has been prepared by Claude King, based on the book of Joel, and it will soon be available from LifeWay or free on-line as a PDF download that can be bookmarked, personalized for your area for use during the week of the COA event.
Yes – let’s repent. Let’s call the church to repent. Let’s redefine repentance in way that helps the church get a handle on it. It is an awakening of the deadliness of sin, and the life dynamic of holiness. It is a sadness about our spiritual condition and a plea to God for the change capacity that comes only by the Spirit. It is mental moment, in which we “come to ourselves”, shocked by the degree of compromise we have allowed, and wake up, so shaken by our status that we resolve to renew our relationship with the Father. We act. We move. We get out sinful environments. We break ties. We migrate toward righteousness. We “return” home! Our world view changes – and it is forever changed. Repentance affects our thinking, our emotions, our dead or damaged spirit. It is the gateway to regeneration and change (conversion).
There are things we must do for revival and renewal – and one of them is to repent! And yet …
A GOD WHO ACTS!
In Israel’s history, when the destiny of God’s people was at stake, and therefore his purposes were at risk, God acted. He acted to redeem Israel from the grip of slavery in Egypt. He acted to confront the nation of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, when Baal worship, paganism, had been adopted as the state religion. Nature reacted – the heaven’s refused to give rain. The drought created a national crisis that was interpreted by Elijah as the judgment of God on the nation. It only ended when the nation was forced to a choice between Baalism and Yahweh – and God acted again to renew his people, to show himself alive. He answered Elijah by fire. And then when Judah was carried into captivity, and temple was destroyed and Jerusalem lay in ruins, God acted to raise the nation from the dead. To bring them back into the land and restore them as a nation. Three times God acted in unprecedented ways – to redeem, to renew, and to restore the nation from the dead. In these three seasons, the miracles of the Old Testament cluster – the Exodus, the Ministry of Elijah and Elisha, the season of the Exile and Return to the Land. Everyone of these periods involved national struggles with idolatry.
God acts – when his purposes are at risk, and his people are in danger of being overcome, seduced by paganism. He acts to show himself alive. He goes to war with the gods, to reveal himself as the only true and living God.
VOICES FROM ANCIENT WELLS
In the last three days, and once last week, I had calls from interesting places. One came from the region where the Pilgrims cast anchor and wrote the Mayflower Compact. The second came from the area where the great tabernacle was built by Billy Sunday, and thousands were touched and revived. There, a dynamic Tea-Party movement has morphed into a cry for spiritual renewal. “We realized that political action would not save the country – only God could do that. We must pray,” the individual declared. A third, last week, came from a pastor who had taken his leaders to Camp Creek, NC, the site a great revival in 1886, that shook that region. A fourth came from someone in Kentucky, talking about the campmeeting revivals of the 2nd Great Awakening.
How interesting – voices from the sites of ancient wells, the places of old national altars. Is God stirring in bowels of the nation, readying us for divine intervention? From around the world, there are prayer efforts going on for America. One leader told me, “We are praying that America does not fall. The world – Christians around the world – need America. No other nation is poised to serve the Christian cause around the world as America is now doing.” Those from other nations see our peril more clearly than we do – and they are praying for a spiritual awakening in America, for the sake of the world, for the sake of Christian causes, for the sake of our obligation to the Great Commission.
COORDINATORS … COORDINATORS … COORDINATORS
Our greatest need now is for more county coordinators!
Here are a list of states with the greatest need for coordinators – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, Kentucky. In some of these states, the majority of counties are still not represented!
Do you know people with a heart for the nation in these places? Call them. Have them visit www.awakeningamerica.us
. Invite them to an information call.
WEEKLY INFORMATION CALL
Each Thursday, I will share updated information regarding the September prayer initiative called “Cry Out America!” The number is 712-432-0075, access code 367853. The times for the call are 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. EST. The calls are designed to inform and inspire regarding the Awakening America initiative. Get your county leadership team on the call. Encourage other potential county coordinators to join the call.
The following devotional guide is available at www.awakeningamerica.us (20-8-1 tab) in bulletin and power point formats. And can be distributed to your constituents, pastors and leaders, your prayer team in the weeks leading up to the Cry Out America initiative.
Praying through the Heart of the Year for the Soul of Our Nation
Prayer Focus: Community and national leaders seeking out the Church as an answer to society’s problems (Culture)
Week: July 18-24
- Pray that Christians will reflect an accurate and consistent testimony of Christ through words, actions, and attitudes.
- Pray that pastors, teachers, and other spiritual leaders will present the gospel accurately and without compromise.
- Pray that leaders in society will grasp the folly of ignoring God when seeking to solve complex problems and issues.
- Pray that the Church will shine forth as a spiritual Body rather than a human organization.
- Pray that community leaders will look to churches as a source of help for the poor and hurting.
- Pray that society’s leaders will respect and embrace the Christian teachings on which our nation was founded.
- Pray that churches will exhibit qualities of unity, love, and humility that will open the hearts of leaders to hear their message.
P. Douglas Small, Field Director
PO Box 1245; Kannapolis, NC 28082
704-788-9113 or 704-996-5091
NATIONAL OFFICE: 4399 North Ocoee Street
Cleveland, TN 37312-4832